Welcome to my Arsenal blog for the 2015/16 season; here you can check out my thoughts on the current goings on at the club.
Latest News: Arsenal draw 3-3 with Liverpool, goals came from Ramsey and Giroud (x2) - match thoughts to come!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Arsenal remain top despite heavy defeat to Man City

Arsenal were completely outplayed as they lost to Manchester City 6-3 on Saturday afternoon. It was a terrific game of end to end football that unfortunately for us, ended with the hosts coming out on top. The Gunners had a 5 point lead at the beginning of the day over their rivals but Man City have now closed the gap to just 3 points. Arsenal's attacking display was good, their defensive display, just wasn't good enough though. After the side Wenger had put out against Napoli, changes were expected to be made and they were. Theo Walcott came in and scored two whilst Wilshere and Ramsey came back in for Arteta and Rosicky. Kieran Gibbs was rested and replaced by Nacho Monreal who before the game, looked like the right player to go with. 
Theo Walcott scored two on his return to the starting line-up
Today's game had a host of talking points, but where do we start? There were few positives and a huge amount of negatives. I'll start with the negatives first. Our midfielders looked as poor as they had been all season. I said in my report against Everton that considering how good they've been this season they were due a bad game. However this wasn't the game to do that. Jack Wilshere was particularly bad. His form had picked up over the previous couple of months but today he was appalling in my opinion. Along with our other midfielders he constantly gave the ball away which led to so many of Man City's goals. The defence weren't helped at all by this and kept getting caught out. We conceded just one goal in the whole of November but this month we've conceded nine and we're only half way through it. The amount of times we got forward and put the hosts under pressure but then conceded straight after, was the most frustrating thing out of everything, it was near on ridiculous. We lost our discipline completely and we even conceded an injury time penalty. The league's best defence was made to look distinctly average.

Nacho Monreal looked like the right choice at the start of the game after looking in better form than the fatigued Kieran Gibbs lately. However, on reflection it was probably the wrong choice. Monreal has usually been able deputy for Gibbs, but his defensive displays are not on par with that of Gibbs. Most of the City attacks came down the left and the Spanish fullback just couldn't deal with everything thrown at him. It had looked a perfect line-up and I was also fully behind the decision to play Flamini. I thought he would've been able to get in the City players faces and disrupt their flow on the ball. However what we lacked was control in midfield and the ability to spray the ball around the pitch quickly. A player that would've been able to do that was Arteta, despite his poor form. Olivier Giroud got in some good positions to score chances and also create them but was wasteful in front of goal. I like Giroud but it further proved that we need to delve into the transfer market in January. Looking at the likes of Aguero today, we need someone like him to add a fear factor in terms of goals.

Nicklas Bendtner came on for Giroud and did a good job in my opinion, he looked more of a threat than Giroud did and even had a goal wrongly disallowed. Wrong decisions were a factor of the game and there were two goals ruled out for offside whilst there also could've been a penalty for a handball on Zabaleta. Those decisions went against us but didn't necessarily cost us the game, our ability to keep the ball did.

The most encouraging sign from the game was that of Theo Walcott. It was his first start for over three months since the game against Marseille. He was an instant threat and caused all sorts of problems in behind the City defence. His first goal was a well controlled strike which skimmed off of Demicheles' head before finding the net. His second was an absolute beauty though. Bending the ball over Pantilimon for his third of the season. It was a great sight to see him back, he stood out massively ahead of everyone else in the side. Per Mertesacker was to score our other goal after a brilliant delivery from Sagna. That was a mere consolation goal and we were too little too late. Not many teams go to the Etihad and score 3 goals, a sign that we weren't willing to give up despite the amount of times we were under pressure.

Next up is Chelsea where myself and the rest of the supporters will be accepting nothing but a win following our result against Man City today. It's at home where we have been better than away recently. If Chelsea win then they'll go top, it will be a massive game that we just can't afford to lose. We desperately need to improve on this afternoons performance, changes will probably be made again and hopefully they'll be for the better this time around.

The teams lineups:

Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demicheles, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri(90), Silva(71), Aguero(49), Negredo. 
Subs: Hart, Lescott, Kolarov, Garcia(90), Milner(71), Navas(49), Dzeko. 

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny(41), Monreal, Flamini(72), Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Ozil, Giroud(76).
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen(41), Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Gnabry(72), Bendtner(76). 

My man of the match: Theo Walcott.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Attendance: 47,229.

No comments:

Post a Comment